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Computers as Theatre, 2nd Edition

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Computers as Theatre, 2nd Edition

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  • Copyright 2014
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Edition: 2nd
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-339084-5
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-339084-1

Brenda Laurel's Computers as Theatre revolutionized the field of human-computer interaction, offering ideas that inspired generations of interface and interaction designers-and continue to inspire them. Laurel's insight was that effective interface design, like effective drama, must engage the user directly in an experience involving both thought and emotion. Her practical conclusion was that a user's enjoyment must be a paramount design consideration, and this demands a deep awareness of dramatic theory and technique, both ancient and modern.

Now, two decades later, Laurel has revised and revamped her influential work, reflecting back on enormous change and personal experience and forward toward emerging technologies and ideas that will transform human-computer interaction yet again. Beginning with a clear analysis of classical drama theory, Laurel explores new territory through the lens of dramatic structure and purpose. Computers as Theatre, Second Edition, is directed to a far wider audience, is written more simply and elegantly, is packed with new examples, and is replete with exciting and important new ideas. 

  • This book
  • Draws lessons from massively multiplayer online games and systems, social networks, and mobile devices with embedded sensors
  • Integrates values-driven design as a key principle
  • Integrates key ideas about virtual reality
  • Covers new frontiers, including augmented reality, distributed and participatory sensing, interactive public installations and venues, and design for emergence

Once more, Brenda Laurel will help you see the connection between humans and computers as you never have before-and help you build interfaces and interactions that are pleasurably, joyously right!

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xix

About the Author xxiii


Chapter 1: The Nature of the Beast 1

The Interface 2

Throw the Baggage Out 16

Theatre: More than an Interface Metaphor 28

Chapter 2: Dramatic FoundationsPart I: Elements of Qualitative Structure 41

Hoary Poetics 41

The Four Causes, or Why Things Are the Way They Are 49

The Six Elements and Causal Relations among Them 57

Chapter 3: Dramatic FoundationsPart II: Orchestrating Action 79

Whole Actions 79

Dramatic Potential: The “Flying Wedge” 82

Dramatic Anatomy 95

Chapter 4: Dramatic Interactors: Collaboration, Constraints, and Engagement 109

Human-Computer Interaction as Mediated Collaboration 110

Constraints 128

Engagement: The First-Person Imperative 139

Chapter 5: Design Heuristics 149

Computer as Medium 149

Interface Metaphors: Powers and Limitations 151

The Primacy of Action 156

Designing Character and Thought 163

Understanding Audiences 170

Chapter 6: New Terrain in Interaction Design 177

Methods and Media 177

Extending the Geometry of Dramatic Interaction 199

Design for Emergence 207

Design for the Good 215

References 221

Index 231


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